Odisha to introduce Kitchen Gardens in Schools

Schools in Odisha are soon going to introduce the concept of Kitchen Gardens under the Mid-day meal (MDM) scheme, as planned by the state government. Breaking the news, the state nodal officer of MDM, Gangadhar Sahu, informed that the government has planned to provide Rs 5000 each to the 43000 schools to take up the initiative.

Under this initiative, the schools will set up nutritional gardens, and plant all season fruit-bearing trees like lemon, papaya, along with long-term plants like that of jackfruit during the monsoon. Vegetables might also be planted as per the school’s decision. For the time being, the schools which have boundary walls and adequate water facilities will be taking up the initiative.

The school authorities will be collecting the requisite kits from the state Horticulture Department, who will assist them with the technicality of the kitchen gardens. The implementation will be overseen by a committee headed by the District Collector.

“During a visit to Malkangiri, we found that some schools have produced truckloads of pumpkins. Some schools in Kandhamal and Keonjhar districts have produced huge quantities of tomato,”

said Gangadhar Sahu.

The launch of the scheme has been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. After the situation normalises, the schools will take up the activity on their own.

The scheme aims to cut down the costs borne by the schools to buy veggies from the local market while involving the students in the activity too. Notably, some schools in Malkangiri, Kandhamal, and Keonjhar have their kitchen gardens ready.

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